An official from Daniel Defense, makers of lightweight barrels, rails and the DDM4 (pictured above) carbine variant, said Tuesday they plan to offer a rifle for the Army's improved carbine competition.
Sales Manager Patrick Kisgen was cautious about how much to reveal, but he said the company is in final negotiations with another small arms accessory maker and a larger "well-known" arms manufacturer to solidify a partnership for the development of the carbine.
This sounds a lot like what Magpul did with its Masada design: teaming with small arms behemoths Remington (for the military version) and Bushmaster (for the civilian version) to actually build what became the Adaptive Combat Rifle.
It's interesting from a business perspective and jibes with what I heard Armalite president Mark Westrom say over lunch at the Media Day, when he argued that there are supply chain issues for small gun makers who want to build like the big boys. The small companies just cant get the materials on the same scale the larger ones, so it will either force them to go out of business, or team up like Daniel Defense plans to do.
More on the subject later, but this is the same issue Magpul is facing in the development and manufacturing of its Massoud 7.62x51 rifle.
Kisgen was cagey about revealing any specifics of the design, but he did say it would be on 5.56 only and would be designed and optimized to more effectively fire the new M855A1 round. You'll remember that we posted a story announcing the PEO Soldier range day at HP White allowing manufacturers to test fire their rifles with the M855A1 round which has a higher velocity and is optimized for the shorter barreled M4.
Kisgen was adamant that his company would not play around with the caliber conversion trickery, saying sticking with the 5.56 round was the way to go.
By the way, I heard more and more of that at this year's show...whereas last year gun makers were falling all over themselves to show how they could convert from a 5.56 to a 7.62 to a 6.8 to an electromagnetic neutron blaster, this year gunmakers seem to be backing off the multi-caliber bandwagon.